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Shortland Cemetery, Thames, New Zealand

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The Shortland Historic Cemetery (also known as the Thames Public Cemetery) is located on Danby Street on a hillside at the far eastern end of the township with views overlooking the Firth of Thames. Along with the graves of former residents of Thames dating back to the mid 1800’s, it contains the official war graves of 6 men who served in the New Zealand forces during the First World War. The cemetery is no longer used.

At the time of gold discovery in August 1867, inland traders, Maori and Pakeha, were transporting on the river, and ships' masters plied the area seeking kauri timbers and gum. Soon the principal towns of the area, including Grahamstown and Shortland, were united to form the Borough of Thames. By mid-1868 the population of the goldfields was estimated to be around 18,000 people with numbers drifting downwards according to gold yields, reaching around 6,000 when mining 'fell apart' by the First World War. Grahamstown mining folk and their families tended to use the Tararu cemetery for their place of burial and the more central Shortland settlement, the Shortland cemetery. Local Ngati Maru Maori involvement in mining life seemed limited to negotiations with settlers and the Crown over land leases; tribal life - and burial - were generally apart from European settlement. Source: http://www.thetreasury.org.nz/ThamesCemeteries/ThamesCemeteries.htm

From 1 to 3 May 2017 Shortland Cemetery was closed to Public Access so several large pine trees in the upper section of the cemetery could be removed as they posed a threat to public safety and had the potential to damage some historic graves.